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Do you suppose they have found a new formula?

The word &uot;silliness&uot; came to my mind when I read &uot;icon&uot; for the newest attempt to correct the evils of mankind via a recently dreamed up organization called &uot;Suffolk Initiative on Youth.&uot; Forgive me when I write, &uot;it ain’t going nowhere.&uot; In my nearly 82 years nothing has come close to preventing crime except a highly moral family and meted punishment. An ICON won’t change a thing. And odds are great against causing positive of an uncaring, insensitive family. Some kids will have fun going for the fifty dollar first prize for the most all-inclusive self explanatory icon and it will end there.

Ward Phelps wrote a nearly perfect letter to the SNH on the subject of crime in our community. He hangs the responsibility for good citizenship directly on parents. But then he goes on to say, &uot;Everyone is responsible: and as such, schools, churches, families, and even the community is held accountable.&uot; Not so, Christian churches do their level best and have for zillions of years. Schools have no curriculum advancing crime and do their utmost to educate children so they can survive in society honestly.

The community, the city, collects a whole lot of taxes that would not even be necessary if parents did their job…we have police just keeping an eye on those headed in the wrong direction, kids aimed that way by parental neglect. I was kept in line by mom, dad, the church, schoolteachers with rulers, and our one policeman I hoped I’d never face. But they were not &uot;responsible&uot; for my conduct. Nor is our city Department of Parks and Recreation that works long hard hours to provide a healthy environment for kids. That newly coined phrase, &uot;build it and they will come,&uot; doesn’t work every time.

So what else are we expected to do? There will always be miscreants unless we find a sensible way to severely punish parents for their failed duty. And if in spite of their good intentions parents produce a &uot;reprobate,&uot; enforce the rules on the books without mercy. There is a word often used to describe mental weakness, &uot;namby-pamby,&uot; people who find &uot;silly&uot; excuses for the wrongdoer. Some are lawyers who defend even the guilty if they can make a buck; also guilty are parents who accept those services. Those folks are as guilty of a crime as the scoundrel facing the judge. And they always choose not to accept any responsibility.

Senior Police Officer Andre Weaver heads off many future potential problems by merely showing up in the schools with an anti-gang message, perhaps a warning. Police can’tchange teenagers who have been expelled, another example of failed parents, or those who come through the educational system with a chip on their shoulder. But those little ones with minds like sponges can get the message early on and keep it there if police in uniform show up regularly and often throughout the school years. That uniform and those objects hanging on a cop’s belt can be &uot;icon&uot; enough.

Bringing &uot;Gang 101&uot; to a forum where interested adult citizens can gain Gang Awareness is one part of the Suffolk Initiative on Youth that could make a difference. But it all depends upon how many &uot;interested&uot; parents attend, parents that &uot;need&uot; to hear the speaker’s messages. I wouldn’t count on a full house at the Culture Center.

What great speeches!

It certainly was nice to hear the great leaders of Venezuela and Iran speak so well of our country, yes they did because they proved they are so insignificant our President did not even take umbrage. If Bush had spoken similarly while in Iran he would have been shot at the lectern. Actually it was fun to watch those two roosters preen and strut. I worry a bit about Citgo employees if our citizens should boycott the thousands of stations scattered around the country…surely no Democrat will.

robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com